Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
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Document Creation Date: 
December 22, 2016
Document Release Date: 
January 24, 2012
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Case Number: 
Publication Date: 
August 3, 1986
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PDF icon CIA-RDP90-00965R000201830050-6.pdf118.25 KB
! i ILLL1Ij1~111 L 1 I~ _W111 11J VG 11I~II~LLII111L UIJ il_ _ICI I I Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/01/24: CIA-RDP90-00965R000201830050-6 Inquiry on Chile And U.S. Spying Helms Is Facing ON PAGE By STEPHEN ENGELBERG Spatial to The New York Times WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 - The Fed_ eral Bureau of Investigation is seeking to Senator Jesse Helms or one of his aides passed sensi- tive American intelligence information to the Chilean Government according to Con ional and Rea an Adminis- tration officials. The officials said the ins try was focusing on charges that the Chileans had been tipped off about a covert American intelligence-gathering operation. They said the Senate Select Commit- tee on Intelligence asked for the inves- tigation after reviewing evidence from the State Department that there had been a leak of information to Chile, pos- sibly by Senator Helms, a North Caro- lina Republican, or one of his staff members. Helms Denies Any Disclosure Senator Helms, who is a vocal critic of the State Department's policy to- ward Chile, said today that neither he nor his staff had provided any classi- fied material to the Chileans. He said he was not aware of the F.B.I.'s inquir- ies but said they appeared to have been politically motivated. "The State Department and the Cen- tral Intelligence Agency are constantly trying to discredit me, and they're not going to be able to do it," Mr. Helms said in an interview. "The real need is for the State Department and the C.I.A. to clean up their acts." "If they want to play the game of in- timidation, of harassment and of leaks,, we'll meet them right in the middle of! the field," he said. The allegation that Senator Helms or a staff member was involved could not Nl'J YORK TIMES 3 August 1986 be independently verified. One Con- gressional official familiar with the evidence said it pointed to a "Helms connection" with the incident rather than to any specific person as the source of the unauthorized disclosure. The official added, however, that per- sonal involvement of Senator Helms could not be ruled out. A second Congressional official placed less weight on the information, saying it came from "third or fourth- hand" sources whose veracity had not yet been proved. One Administration official said C.I.A. officials were angered by the disclosure to the Chileans because it posed a threat to the agency's sources and methods for gathering information on Chile. An intelligence source, char. acterizing the C.I.A.'s reaction to the incident, said: "This has really caused a problem. Whoever did this did an awful thing." Kathy Pherson, 'a spokesman for the C.I.A., said the agency would have no comment. Senator Can Get Chile Data The F.B.I. investigation began in the past week, according to an Administra. tion official. Congressional sources, who asked not to be identified, said the Senate Intelligence Committee had in- formed the Senate's leadership of its decision to request the investigation. Mr. Helms is not a member of the In- telligence Committee, but he is given sensitive intelligence on Chile in his post as chairman of the Western Hemi- sphere Subcommittee of the Foreign Relations Committee. He is the second- ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee. In recent months, Mr. Helms has made a series of critical statements about the Administration's relation- ship with Chile, which he views as hav- ing one of the few anti-Communist gov- ernments in the region and thus deserv- ing of strong American support. Ambassador Draws Helms Fire Visiting Chile last month, Senator Helms assailed the American Ambas- sador, Harry G. Barnes, for his deci- sion to attend the funeral of Rodrigo Rojas de Negri, a 19-year-old perma- nent resident of the United States who was fatally burned in anti-Government protests. Witnesses said Mr. Rojas and an 18-year-old student had been doused with flammable liquid and set afire by men in military uniforms. The army denied responsibility. On arriving in Santiago, the Chilean capital, Mr. Helms criticized the State Department for pressuring Chile to re- store democracy and investigate Mr. Rojas's death. He said Mr. Barnes had "planted the American flag in the midst of a Communist activity" by going to the funeral. State Department officials and White House officials defended Mr. Barnes, saying his attendance at the funeral was approved in advance. They also said Senator Helms had been wrong to make his comments while in a foreign country. A Senate Prohibition In the interview today, Senator Helms questioned the motivations of the officials who disclosed the investi- gation of him or his staff. "What I say about the C.I.A. and the State Depart- ment, I say publicly, while they dodge around in dark corners and leak to The New York Times," he said. The investigation of disclosure of in- telligence information relating to Chile was initiated under a Senate rule that bars staff and members from releasing classified information or material pro- vided in closed sessions of Congress or Its committees. Under Senate Resolu- tion 400, committees informed of possi- ble violations can refer cases to the' Justice Department for investigation and a report. Congressional officials said investigations under the rule are infrequent.. In the executive branch, a similar procedure is followed for investiga- tions of unauthorized disclosures. Agencies refer cases to the Justice De- partment, which in turn decides whether further investigation is war- ranted. Administration and Disclosure The Intelligence Committee's deci- sion to refer the case to the Justice De- partment came after several months in which committee members sharply criticized Administration officials for unauthorized disclosure of intelligence information. For instance, at the confirmation hearing on the nomination of Robert Gates as Deputy Director of Central In- i telligence, Senator Sam Nunn, Demo- crat of Georgia, said: "I think somebody at the highest levels of Government has got to get this under control. When you start reading things that lead directly, or could hypo- thetically at least, to sources and meth- ods of a sensitive nature, I think it is de- plorable." Alluding to disclosure of intelligence data on Libya, Senator Nunn added: "We hear so much about Congress leaking, but, to the best of my informa- tion, Congress hasn't even been briefed in these areas, which means these leaks are definitely coming from the executive branch. And I think it is going to cause a lot more difficulty over the next few months." TI; : Declassified and Approved For Release 2012/01/24: CIA-RDP90-00965R000201830050-6